Koalabeast Games

Author: ylambda

Player Indicator and Other Updates

Today we’ve pushed out several changes to the servers including new features, bugfixes, and additional protection against trouble makers.

Player Indicator

We have added a helpful player indicator to the bottom of the UI which shows the current number of players in a game for each team.  This has been a highly requested feature and our implementation was adaptaed from the mod written by the player browncoat. Thanks browncoat!

Fix no-script spectator kicking

A bug has been fixed that was incorrectly kicking players who would first join a private game (with no-script on) as a spectator, and later join in as a player. Big thanks to the helpful bug reports by the players Ballkenende and unplanned . Hopefully this is just in time for the NLTP Playoffs — good luck everyone!

VPN Detection

We have added more protection from players who like to evade bans by using VPNs. We now check if players who are not logged into the game are using a VPN to play, and kindly ask them to play signed in if they want to keep using a VPN.

360 Degree Flair

A new flair has been added for players that reach 360 degrees. In case you missed it, Freakball and LiddiLidd earned the new flair together. That’s 20,261 wins! Technically this happened a few weeks ago, but we haven’t written about it in the blog yet.

Flair Stream

Currently testing on centra, a stream of recently awarded flairs will appear at the top of the page. While we’re testing, only flairs awarded on centra will show up, but soon this will be on all servers.

What’s being worked on?

Single World Joiner

I’ve personally been sinking a lot of time into the single world joiner. What is it? The purpose of the single world joiner is to combine all of the separate servers to prevent server imbalance. Instead of what we have today with Radius and Chord having 90% of the players. You simply hit play now and join a game on the best server possible.

This is a major architecture change for TagPro and will need time to smooth everything out. If you don’t understand why this is a problem, I’ve mentioned on reddit why I think the current architecture is an issue. There’s still a lot to be done and tested.

Birthday Event

GET HYPE!

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Return of the Blog

It’s been a long time since our last update.  A full calendar year plus nine months.   We want to revitalize this platform and post more regularly about our technical work. It’s been so long we feel we should write an update. We’ve completely changed gears from working on Next and spent our time updating TagPro Classic. What follows is a timeline of our work since then.

By this point the community had made it clear we weren’t doing enough work on TagPro Classic. The hot topic was about getting new players to play the game. For a long time our primary source for new players came from AskReddit threads, and since being banned for vote manipulation we could no longer participate. The lack of new players was noticeable. We shifted our focus to develop more features for Classic.

Mentioning our plans for Kongregate blew up on us. As always it took us much longer than we expected to finish this up. There was enormous difficulty in building a user account system for Kongregate users.  This time-consuming task made it difficult to put other features in, and we also had little to report for a while since it’s all invisible backend changes. Not to mention it was summer and we step back to have fun in the sun. We still added updates in the mean time:

At this time the community was in full force meming hard on the volume slider. Some of it was pretty funny. Immense frustration with our lack of visible progress for Kongregate created an atmosphere of doubt we’d be able to do the job . We then created a new role for a community manager to help us with keeping a respectful communication channel with everyone.

This was where we had drawn the line for Classic, we met our initial goals for Classic and even went  further and put it on Kongregate. From this point it was unclear what we should do. The community still desperately needed more players and our efforts only minimally paid off. In addition more and more features are requested for Classic.

We realized at this point we can’t simultaneously work on two games. Splitting our efforts increases the difficulty to add features. All our attention had been on Classic and we had little time to work on Next. Members of the community who believed in that project saw no  progress while we kept saying in every monthly update Next is still planned. We needed to decide on one project. We tabled development on Next and attempted to keep the larger group of Classic players happy.

The community didn’t take this last update well. Our community manager helps us facilitate a respectful communication channel with everyone. That month of September we had several updates ready to be pushed into production once they went through a final code review. Our community manager tried to meet with us, but we couldn’t coordinate a time. We were unable to relay our progress, and our community felt abandoned. Overall a rough month.

Here we are today. We’ve announced in previous updates we’re working on a single world joiner. We want to use this to help reduce latency and spawn a simple matchmaking system. This is another idea likely to blow up on us. These massive updates take time, lots of testing, and patience. We have other features in the pipeline too. We’ll likely finish the smaller things before the joiner.

Be patient 🙂

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The Spike Does Not Move

spikes

This week we worked on the design for the spikes. We all wanted a style that was similar to classic  that would fit in perfectly to our new design. The screw head for each spike is oriented a bit differently to give each of them some sugar.  In other news, this week viewport scaling and mousevent code has been added to the map editor. The client/server branch has been re-factored , and a neat data serialization portion added.

 

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